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- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Journalism (reporting, multimedia, publishing, editing), French, Arabic, contemporary Arabic culture, international relations, international political economy, creative writing (novella, short story, haiku), photography, history of post-world war Europe and Middle East


Hey guys, My name is AJ Naddaff and I am a journalist, translator, and scholar of the Middle East with a particular focus on politics, religion and culture. I am currently a Knight Hennessy Scholar at Stanford and a Ph.D. student in the department of Comparative Literature focused on French, Arabic and Turkish cultures and languages. Broadly speaking, I’ve traveled across Western Europe probing Syrian writers in exile, slept in refugee camps from Jordan to Lebanon, retraced the life of a Black Lives Matter leader in Charlotte, interviewed the Prime Minister of Kosovo, and partook in Sufi rituals in Egypt. When I was a junior in college, my reporting was published by the Washington Post and I’m a two-time grant recipient of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. I enjoy photography, hiking (spending time with monks), haiku writing and city promenading. I also love playing tennis and Ping pong. I look forward to using journalistic methodologies to bring your dream project to life!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Vanishing Christians of the Middle East: A Journalistic Approach to Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria

In recent history, one of the largest changes in the global religious landscape has been the unrelenting proportional decline of historic Christian communities in the Middle East, from Iraq to Egypt to Lebanon to Syria. The reasons for this complicated phenomenon are profoundly social, political, and economic. This study will look into these factors while also bringing in original research through interviews with various stakeholders from each community for a publishable article.

Languages I know

French, fluent; Arabic (Egyptian, Levantine dialects) and high proficiency in reading and writing Modern Standard Arabic

Teaching experience

I served as a teaching assistant in various capacities throughout my BA and MA experience.


Work experience

Associated Press (2021 - 2022)


Davidson College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2019)
Political science and Arab Studies
American University Of Beirut
MA Master of Arts
Arabic Literature
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Comparative Literature

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